Johannesburg – The South African Revenue Service (Sars) says that services have been suspended at its branch in Rissik Street, Johannesburg, after a fire broke out.
The building caught fire on Wednesday afternoon, and all staff and taxpayers were immediately evacuated. No one incurred any serious injuries, according to Sars.
According to Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) spokesperson Nana Masechaba Kgiba, the fire started in the storage room, which is in the basement. The fire was successfully extinguished.
"We can confirm that the fire has been contained at the basement level, which is used as storage. We can confirm, for now, that everyone is safe and is out of the building,’’ she said.
As a result of the fire, Sars has suspended its services at the Rissik Street Branch and will provide services virtually.
“Taxpayers are urged to book an appointment for assistance via the Sars website at www.sars.gov.za. Those who want to visit our offices can make an appointment to visit either the Randburg or Alberton branches. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience,” Sars said in a statement.
Sars Commissioner Edward Kieswetter thanked the fire and medical emergency personnel who assisted in containing the damage and treating those affected.
EMS and Sars both said that the cause and extent of the fire were unknown at this stage and will be investigated.
“We will do a preliminary investigation into what caused the fire,’’ Kgiba said.